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Lessons from South Central 

Julio Alicea, assistant professor of sociology, pictured on Rutgers–Camden campus
Ron Downes, Jr.

Rutgers–Camden Latinx scholar Julio Alicea explores the impact of place on racial advantage.

Julio Alicea recently launched his professorial career in a familiar setting—the classroom, a forum for his Rutgers–Camden students to grapple with the complicated relationship between schools and the larger society. It’s a complex connection the assistant professor of sociology knows firsthand.

Education has always threaded Alicea’s professional experience as he has moved from teaching in public schools to public universities. He earned his Ph.D. at UCLA, where he completed his dissertation at a South Central Los Angeles-area school. His four-year study inside a high school showed how sociospatial factors such as deindustrialization, gentrification, and immigration policies have greatly impacted its mostly Black and Latinx students. 

“South Central provides a great example of how the national and the global are intertwined with the local. To this day, residents of South Central go face-to-face with the legacies of historical injustice as well as their modern-day iterations,” Alicea said.

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